What are Deed Restrictions?

Be it home buying or selling, you have to carry out several formalities for the transfer of ownership. This may include a lot of paperwork, visits to the court, and other legal formalities. If you are thinking of buying a house or a plot for constructing property, along with all these formalities, you also need to think about obtaining and going through an agreement known as a deed restriction.

About Deed Restrictions

These are written documents, which relate to the conditions of using the property. These restrictions can include anything that is not supposed to be done using the property, or to the property itself. A good example of a deed restriction is a restrictive covenant. The conditions mentioned in it can differ based on the builder of the property, the type of real estate, and the location. For example, a developer may put restrictions regarding the number of floors in one building, what materials should be used for the construction, the building’s distance from the street, and business carried out from the premises.

Developers may even mention the materials to be used in making fences around the house, how many or what kind of pets can be allowed in the house, if surrounding trees can be cut, certain conditions for gardening and landscaping, etc. Similarly, there can be many such restrictions mentioned in the deed. Remember that the conditions remain with the property, and are to be followed by all property owners.

Who Carries Out Their Enforcement?

In case of land with subdivisions, the builder or developer initiates the restrictions on the property. After he prepares the restrictions, he then files them at the county office for them to be operational on subsequent property owners. However, the entity who prepares them should keep in mind, the comfort of the homeowners. Generally, the homeowners’ association is responsible for supervising: if people follow the obligations properly. However, in order to oversee these restrictions, there is no formal authority as such.

Who Should Follow Them?

They are to be followed by all subsequent owners of the property/real estate. If you are thinking of buying a home, it is necessary to obtain a copy of the deed restriction from the seller/realtor. You may find some deeds overly restrictive, which may affect the quality of living.

You also have the option of obtaining a copy from your respective county’s courthouse. When you are buying the property, you have to follow the obligations mentioned; and when you are selling the property, you have to make sure that the property buyer follows them carefully. If the home buyer is thinking about removing such restrictions, he should get them released from the parties, who enforced them initially.

Deed restrictions are written agreements that are drafted for the purpose of maintaining the quality and value of the property. However, the maker should consider, if the living conditions of the real estate would be appropriate after the restrictions are enforced. If you have any doubts, it is recommended that you get in touch with a real estate agent, who will explain to you all the details regarding the same.

What is a Bargain and Sale Deed?

A deed, as most definitions of this word will tell you, is a document which grants a right to another person. The deed document thus is an important one in matters of home buying and home selling. The deed in this case of course is drafted by the seller and grants the right of ownership to the buyer.

About Bargain and Sale Deed?

If you know what a general warranty deed is, then explaining the bargain and sale deed becomes a lot simpler. The general warranty deed protects the buyer from any problems over the property which may arise in the future. The deed grants the buyer of the property unencumbered and quiet enjoyment of the property sold to him.

The bargain and sale deed on the other hand offers no such promises. The general warranty deed is supposed to protect the buyer from any problems arising in the future. The deed without covenants can be viewed to be a lot more feasible and reasonable sort of deed because, that bit about the guarantees extending back to the property’s origins is a bit unrealistic. Who knows what the users before the current seller did with it anyway. Many times drafting the general warranty deed along with the covenants, becomes very confusing to comprehend, for both the seller as well as the buyer, hence the need for bargain and sale deed.

Protection From the Deed

The bargain and sale deed only specifies the right of ownership and associated rights to modify, resale, and all the other rights that come with ownership of property. The only things missing are the covenants which are part of a general warranty deed.

Now how does that protect the buyer from a bad title? Well, it doesn’t, unless he and the seller choose to sign a bargain and sale deed with covenants, which only can protect the buyer from the bad title as may be created by the seller. While no guarantee is given about what the previous owners did with it.

The deed is hence seen as a more realistic sort of deed for older properties, as the seller takes no guarantees for what passed before he came along. And the buyer too can understand that once the property is sold, the seller has nothing to do with it, let alone run around setting right the bad title that his forerunners may have given it.

It is easier for the seller to grant a bargain and sale deed, as he can simply wash his hands off the property once and for all. But, this may put a buyer in a position of disadvantage, should any problem come knocking, but then there really is nothing else that he can do about it anyway.

What is a General Warranty Deed?

It is an important consideration for home buying and home selling, as it assures that the person you’re buying the property from is the real owner of the property, and not someone fraudulently posing as the owner. A general warranty deed is a legal document and if it is fraudulent, it can be contested in the court of law.

Definition

A deed where the grantor (or seller) guarantees that he or she holds clear title to a piece of real estate and has the legal right to sell it to you. The guarantee is not limited only to the time the grantor owned the property but extends back further to the origins of the property.

The meaning can be simplified by stating that the general warranty deed is a guarantee that the seller gives to the buyer, that he indeed owns the property and that the property does not have any lien or liabilities associated with it.

The rationale behind getting this legal document from the seller for the buyer is quite easy to understand. A lot of people can be bluffed by making a quick sale of property which is not yours, or has a substantial amount of liability attached to it. So by claiming the ownership of the property, not only does a fraudulent seller sell the house and make a tidy profit, but also he can also abscond leaving the new homeowner in a soup.

Hence more and more home buyers are careful to ensure that they receive the general warranty deed, so that they are assured that the property they purchase for residence or as investment property is free from any trouble.

Form

The deed usually contains 6 covenants or ‘promises’ which the seller makes to the buyer when selling property. These covenants can be categorized in two basic classes based on what they cover: The present covenants and the future covenants.

Present Covenants
Covenant of Seisin & Covenant of Right to Convey
Seisin means possession. These two covenants mean that the seller is in possession of the land and also has the right to sell to another party.

Covenant Against Encumbrances
With this covenant, the seller assures the buyer that there are no encumbrances or liabilities against the property.

Future Covenants
Covenant of Warranty and Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
These two covenants are said to be future covenants as they are related to occurrences which may take place in the future. With these two covenants, the seller protects the buyer against any future troubles or claims against the property that may arise out of the past dealings of the seller.

Covenant of Further Assurances
This covenant ensures the buyer that if there is something omitted that would otherwise be required to pass on the title, he will do everything to ensure that the title is passed on to the buyer, irrespective of the omission.

If you go through sample deeds, you will see that they need to be notarized and need to be signed in the presence of witness. The deed is a legal document so you would perhaps like to seek the help of a lawyer to draft it.